How do you find new customers?

If you sell to an established business sector that already needs and uses the products you provide then the task is much easier than if you want to sell crochet tea cosies to the general public.

The golden rules to remember are, whats easy to do is also easy not to do, you must be consistent and persistent and set a schedule to devote to marketing activities on at least a weekly basis.

Let us assume you sell plumbing supplies

Ways to contact customers direct are…

Personal Visit
Regular Post
Fax
Phone
Email

Each has its pros and cons and costs attached, by far the quickest and cheapest is email but we have the issues that unless you have a current database of contacts you will likely not have your prospects email list, so in the first instance we need to use more traditional methods to gather the prospects information.

Can I just email them out of the blue? What about Spam laws and what is classed as spam.

Pick a geographical area, dont try to market to the whole of the country or even a state unless you have very deep pockets and know what works.

Test and Measure.

If you know who your customers are it is a whole lot easier for example lets assume you sell plumbing supplies and want to expand your market share and increase your customer base. It is right to assume that your primary customer would be plumbers, and plumbers like any other business has to let their prospective customers know they exist and they do this in a number of ways such as local newspaper ads, online advertising and yellow pages.

The basics.

Decide on a location to target such as a postcode.
Get the postal details of the plumbers in that location.
Post a traditional marketing piece to them with the intention of them giving you their email address.
Now use the details and email they have provided to market to them.

Step

  1. Pick a geographical area to market to, by postcode is usually best. Don’t go too big, you only want to do what you and your team can handle and you have to do it well. If you choose too big of an area then the work load and budget will be stretched and things will fall through the cracks.
  2. Get the details of your prospective customers that reside in your chosen area, in our case, plumbers, you will easily be able to get all the plumbers details for any particular postcode from the yellow pages which will include their name, mailing address and phone number, you may also be able to get their fax and email address if they have them listed, but be warned that as this costs thee advertiser extra, most of your prospects wont have these listed and it precisely the email and fax that we want.
  3. Now we create a mailing piece to be mailed out to our prospects. The purpose is not to necessarily get them to buy anything but to give them a reason to provide us with their business contact details, specifically their email and fax details. You can use addressed postcards or letters and make an offer that will appeal to the business person. We recommend you use Microsoft Word or Publisher to create your marketing piece. Why? Because you want to personalise it as much as possible and if you use a service like ours to produce your prospect list you can “mail merge” all your contacts which makes the process of printing and mailing much easier.Examples of our marketing piece is below.
  4. If your marketing piece is compelling enough you should start seeing immediate results. Wait a week and resend the mail piece to those that have not replied, send a third mailing a week after that. Anyone on your prospect list who has not replied by then is unlikely to.
  5. Once you have their email details in the database start a regular email campaign with the purpose of selling your product or service to them. Set a schedule in advance and stick to it.
  6. Now move onto next locality, neighboring post code is best and repeat.

 

Enhance your prospecting efforts by advertising in local newspapers and trade magazines, for the locations you chose. You can also follow up with phone calls and personal visits if desired.